Chill Moody Has Rakim’s Attention. He Should Have Yours Too (Audio)
Hailing from the same part of Philadelphia made famous by Will Smith on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” Chill Moody has amassed a list of accomplishments that make him a hometown hero. Having performed with veteran MCs like Freeway, been named “Best Rapper” by Philadelphia magazine, and his current status as Philadelphia Music Ambassador, he’s also begun making moves in the national market. His 2013 debut album, Running From Myself (RFM) landed on iTunes’s Top 100 Hip-Hop chart, he visited Sway in the Morning earlier this year, and several appearances on MTV Jams have gained him notoriety outside of his native city.
A handful of releases later and with an upcoming performance at the sold-out Roots Picnic in New York City, Chill Moody is currently busy working on several projects, including work with celebrated producer Nottz. Earlier this week, he tweeted that fans can expect some new music very soon, and now he deliver with an Ambrosia For Heads (AFH) premiere of his song, “Inhale/Exhale.”
AFH spoke with Chill about “Inhale/Exhale,” his career thus far and what to expect from him next.
Ambrosia for Heads: How long have you been rapping?
Chill Moody: I’ve been rapping my whole life. I’ve been a rapper, like professionally, since I graduated college in ’09. But I can remember bars I wrote in 2nd and 3rd grade for talent shows, so it feels like my whole life.
AFH: What inspired you to write “Inhale/Exhale?”
CM: I was most inspired by the beat honestly. I’m a fan of CritaCal as a producer so I was just motivated by the chance to work with him. I felt like the beat called for something nostalgic/story telling but also called for a lot of clever bars. I approached it thinking “if this is the first time someone hears me rap, what do I want to accomplish?” and just went from there. I tried to give a little bit of everything, reeling the listeners in for more.
AFH: On the song, you rap “bumped into my old heads/they always give the knowledge away/you see they told me pray hardest when it’s hardest to pray.” Can you explain the importance of seeking counsel from those who came before you?
CM: The root of the problem with our youth is lack of proper guidance, at least that’s how I feel.I remember this classic State Property freestyle where Sparks says “but I don’t blame you youngbul, I blame ya old heads!” I don’t know why, but that really always stuck with me. I feel like I knew better growing up because I was taught better. If it wasn’t a direct lesson, it was something I learned from watching, but even that behavior is something I learned from my old heads. “I don’t blame you youngbul I blame your oldheads” is like a Philly way of saying “It takes a village to raise a child.”
Additional Ambrosia For Heads Spotlight interviews.
AFH: On your Instagram account, there’s a picture of you with Rakim. What’s the story behind that photo? What does Rakim mean to you and what was it like for you to meet him?
CM: We recently were both performing at Councilman Kenyatta Johnson’s community day festival out in South Philly. This is the third time I had been on the same bill with him, as we did the Roots Picnic together one year and a Veteran Freshman jawn in Philly, so we were talking about those shows, and I told him what I had been working on and to make sure he caught my set. Things like that mean everything to me, to be able to actually build with the greats and not just take photos and keep it moving. Some of the first Rap lyrics I memorized were Rakim lyrics.
AFH: You are self-sufficient as an artist, with your own record label, nicethings. Can you describe the joys and pains of being fully-independent?
CM: It’s very tough being fully independent. Some people get joy in being able to say “I did all this on my own, no help,” blah blah blah. I don’t subscribe to that mentality. I really believe in team, collaboration, co-op things. I feel you can achieve more working with a team. So sometimes not having that machine of people working behind you, with their own set of resources and connections, can slow down your progress. It’s just the hand I was dealt and am currently dealing with, because music is plan A, so I’m willing to sacrifice and work double time to gain the attention of the right situation even if it means slower progress due to being independent.
AFH: When is your next project coming out and what can you tell us about it?
CM: I’m not really sure when the next project is coming out or what it will be. I’m currently working on a lot of different projects. Some things with Hank McCoy, some things with Wes Manchild, more stuff with CritaCal, and I recently did some stuff with Nottz. I’ve just been crafting sound with a lot of different producers and collaborators and figuring out where the songs will live. That’s really the plan right now. I’ll probably release a couple more singles before I buckle down and get into album mode.